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LORD ADONIS MEETS WITH PRO-LINK OVER FIXED LINK STUDY FUNDING


‘Quitting is not an option’ – that is the message from Carl Feeney, Chair of Pro-Link, following a recent meeting with Lord Adonis in Westminster over Fixed Link study funding.

The meeting on Friday (6th September) followed on from the ex-Minister of Transport tweeting his consternation while attempting to cross the Solent recently. Lines of communication regarding cross Solent transport issues have been ongoing with Lord Adonis since his visit to the Island, according to Mr Feeney.

After 5 years of consultation, Pro-Link has developed a proposal for an Isle of Wight fixed link, dubbed the ‘Solent Freedom Tunnel’. Infrastructure experts ARUP have offered to perform a £100,000 +VAT viability study into the scheme, which would qualify as a National Infrastructure Project.

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In 2017, the fully Independent Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Taskforce made strong recommendations for a fixed link feasibility study. The Taskforce had been commissioned by the Isle of Wight Council and chaired by highly respected Christopher Garnett OBE. However, a study is yet to be carried out and no funding has been requested.

Fenney explains:

“Lord Adonis is astonished that the IOW Council has neglected to implement such an important recommendation. The IOW MP Bob Seely, since being elected, has curtailed the Taskforce, effectively blocking the study, while also setting up a new IOW Transport Board instead which includes Red Funnel and Wightlink as stakeholders.

“While these ferry companies are in control, the MP’s Transport Board is unlikely to support a study that could create radical competition to them”.

Pro-Link has been forced instead into public fundraising for the study. Carl continues:

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“Sadly, even though Lord Adonis has assured help when possible, the meeting at Westminster concluded with him unable to assist study funding until the IOW Council and MP requests it.

“This is also thwarting island business leaders and others from donating to a study. They are aware that positive study conclusions could similarly be ignored, as has happened with the IOW Infrastructure Taskforce recommendations”.

“Every independent poll held in the last 5 years gives overwhelming support for a fixed link study. The campaign to facilitate cross Solent freedom will continue for as long as it takes… with whatever it takes. Quitting is not an option”.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

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none given
Guest
none given

Perhaps Carl Feeney would like to explain to the poor sods, who would be on the receiving end of this tunnel or bridge on the mainland and what possible economic benefits it would bring to them. All they would see is a massive increase in vehicle traffic to their town, as they would be burdened by the on/off ramp and all the associated pollution and inconvenience.

What about the environmental impact of disturbing all the natural habitats by yet more concreting over of the Islands areas of greenery, with roads and other unnecessary structures in support of an unnecessary bridge/tunnel.

Please explain to the Islanders what they will do with the tailbacks of traffic that would be made worse by an endless, uninterrupted flow of traffic onto the island.

It currently costs £1780 for a foot passenger, annual season ticket with wightlink. Which if you travel 5 days a week, for 48 weeks of the year, with four weeks off for annual leave, you are paying £5.29 per day, or £2.64 per trip. You seriously expect us to believe that the toll for driving a car through a tunnel, over a bridge, or having to use a shuttle bus to travel across, as no one would be allowed to walk it, would be cheaper than that, for regular commuters.

For customers working in Portsmouth, where is the benefit of a fixed link on the other side of the Island and exiting further away from where they work. How much extra fuel will they spend driving from the bridge, back into portsmouth.

There are around 2000 passengers that travel to Portsmouth by 0915 each day on wightlink’s fastcat and Hovertravel. You expect them all to suddenly jump in their cars and drive over a fixed link – have you been in Portsmouth between 0715 and 0830 each day – it is far worse around the university and motorway than it is on the island.

Carl is hell bent on having a fixed link without even realising that most of the Islanders do not want a fixed link – if we did, then we would already have one. The vast majority of us that were born and raised here are happy being separate from the mainland and those that moved here, knew the score, so if you do not like it, then move back to the mainland.

If you want the mainland Carl then go and live there. Stop trying to import all the problems the mainland has on to the Island, bringing mainland prices with it, by creating a fixed link for the problems to arrive.

No sense given
Guest
No sense given

How many of those trips would be met with delays and cancellations though?

M Grant
Guest
M Grant

Show your name!

None given back
Guest
None given back

May I just say if you don’t like it you go. Such a stupid playground comment. We are part of the United Kingdom, The benifits of a link far out way the reasons to not have one. Links are created worldwide to improve people’s lives in lots of ways due to linking up islands etc that is Fact!! SO WHY THE HELL ARE WE DIFFERENT???
stick a toll on a link to reduce the influx of the undesirable humans of the UK at least we’d have FREEDOM, I’d pay for freedom.
The road infastructure issue is another boring obvious issue which our great country- You know the UK, which we belong to – has the experience in planning
So for now let’s just have a feasibility study. Wind your neck in and think of the future for our island

none given
Guest
none given

@none given back.

perhaps you should wind your neck in and stop being so arrogant. There will be no study as no one will pay for it. There will be no fixed link at all, ever. This island will remain an island.

You have the freedom to move if you so wish. Stop trying to impose your need to be connected by a bridge to another land mass on to those of us, who were born here and are happy with the status quo.

The drawbacks, consequences and costs far outweigh any benefits of a bridge or tunnel.

Like I said – there is no will, economical, political or otherwise in mainland counties to accept the off ramp or exit from any Isle of wight fixed link – therefore will not happen, as the locals in those areas will kick up a right fuss about it, more than we will, about destroying more of the green land on this Island. We do not need more roads and concrete here.

Tony Cook
Guest
Tony Cook

Usual claptrap from antis. Blah blah overloaded with cars, blah blah why don’t you move, blah blah vast majority don’t want it. Odd then that various polls had 65-70% in favour of a link. Must have been a mistake.

Island Stagazer
Guest
Island Stagazer

Well said

Carl Feeney
Guest
Carl Feeney

Best to research before making comments whoever you are? Here’s a starter for you:

http://solentfreedomtunnel.co.uk/the-solent-freedom-tunnel-proposed-route/

Michele Pearce
Guest
Michele Pearce

So you think you are speaking for all of us islanders born and bred here do you. Well I hate to burst your bubble but your not because there are many many islander who are in support for the tunnel for the future wealth and growth of our beautiful island. Gone are the days when we were the hub of tourism, people are so fed up and put off coming here by our unreliable very expensive ferry crossing . You highlight the cost of an annual pass as a passenger well sorry not everyone has £1500+ to spend on one just to make it cheaper to travel and also you obviously don’t do this daily ferry run because you would know how unreliable they ferries are when you just want to get home from a hard days work and they have cancelled one for technical issues or basically not enough staff to run one. The best yet has been a ferry out of action due to coming back into service after annual inspections for the propeller or something like that falling off by the pier. Also you obviously have not had to do the daily visits to mainland hospitals to either have treatment yourself or be there visiting someone poorly because our hospital can no longer deal with these treatments. We can’t get Dr’s to come here, nurses teachers and other professionals that we need for our Island due to that expensive stretch of water. We need to be moving into the 21st century and do everything in our power to save our beautiful poverty stricken Island and make it easier for future generations to work and live here or have better access to work on the mainland and still get home to the island they want to stay on. And as for telling people they should move off the island if they are in favour of a link how dare you I have as much right to be here with my opinion as you and your negative comment and yes I will put my name on this response

Richard
Guest
Richard

Seldom Seen Seely setting up an oligopoly with big business mates instead of looking after his constituents. Just like the rest of the swamp in Westminster.

Sceptical
Guest
Sceptical

Proof reading needed at the title! Pretty sure he wouldn’t like being called Lord Adnois instead of Lord Adonis:)

Tony Plowright
Guest
Tony Plowright

The Solent freedom tunnel? More like the Solent traffic hell gridlock tunnel.

West Wighter
Guest
West Wighter

Keep the island an island, as I’ve said before
If you don’t like it move to the mainland and stay there.
As for Carl Tweeny or what ever his name is I suggest you clear off far far away!!
Just simply a load of rubbish to put it politely!!

Freedom of speach
Guest
Freedom of speach

Idiot comment

Carl Feeney
Guest
Carl Feeney

Lower Islander tolls will allow island vehicles off island. Higher visitor tolls will reduce migrating mainland vehicles.

Once the acceptable allowance of vehicle density has been established, the toll structures will act as the regulatory ‘valve’.

It’s actually quite simple … and very easy to spread cross Solent vehicular transfer over a 24 hour period including HGV’s.

At preset, the ferries dump vehicles on surges.. often causing gridlock.

The tunnel will facilitate a HIGE improvement in traffic management.

I’m surprised that there are those who are unable to grasp this.

none given
Guest
none given

regulatory valve – that is utter crap carl and you know it.

this is an island, that is its uniqueness, not a permanently attached part of hampshire. – go back to the mainland and live there if you do not like it. Why do people move here and then start complaining.

the ferries act as the natural limiter of traffic to the island by the frequency of them – a tunnel or bridge does not offer, that, it is a constant stream.

The economics of it do not stack up, have never stacked up and never will – doesn’t matter what way you twist your stats carl – it is crap and is never going to happen in your lifetime.

Obviously michael pearce doesn’t travel on the cat either – the annual ticket is usually paid by direct debit, monthly.

You still do not address the fact that the exit ramp for the tunnel or bridge will not be welcomed in any county on the mainland, as they do not want it and it will cause them nothing but problems, pollution and inconvenience. You still do not address the fact that
the thousands that travel each day on the ferries from Ryde, would be expected to significantly increase their journey times and fuel costs to travel to the tunnel entrance and then back into portsmouth from any exit, which would be miles away.

no fixed link, any time soon, that much I am quite sure of.

none given
Guest
none given

higher visitor tolls will reduce migrating mainland vehicles – what utter tosh feeney – you said it would be much cheaper than the ferries. If that is the case, then it won’t matter what you put the tolls up to, they will still come in droves.

You are already talking about putting the prices up and the thing isn’t even going to be built. Thought you were against rinsing tourists and visitors to the island, which its economy depends on. ratchet up the prices to visitors, which will reduce the tourist economy – which is it that you want feeney, make up your mind.

What about the thousands and thousands of foot passengers that come over on the ferries to Ryde for the beaches in the summer. They won’t come to the island from Portsmouth as they wont want to travel by vehicle to a tunnel, then sit in tail backs trying to get into ryde and find no where to park. Might as well park up on the mainland and sit on the beach there instead of all that hassle in a tunnel and additional driving.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Well said Carl. Unfortunately you’re talking to people with one foot in the grave.

Island Stagazer
Guest
Island Stagazer

Lord Adenoids should poke his nose out of island affairs, he does not live on the Island & is no longer a transport minister, i do not want artic lorrys polluting us 24/7 on the island, neither the troubles of the mainland to come to the island, people live here & love it on the island because it is away from the troubles polution & rat race, if wanting the mainland then moved there, you can take the city to the countryside but you cant take the countryside to the city, once gone gone forever.

Justabloke
Guest
Justabloke

Carl Feeney, the guy is a complete tool!
He always says independent polls show support for a fixed link, yeah the polls he trolls on his closed fixed link Facebook page!
It’s a dead duck!
Perhaps he ought to campaign more for the issues in his own street first!

Az-zahra Aziz
Guest
Az-zahra Aziz

There is a good reason, NOT just ‘luck’ that the Isle of Wight has less crime than our closest mainland towns and cities, and that is the cost and difficulty of crossing the Solent.

Certainly it is a pain, yet IF you need to do so often then perhaps you would be happier living over that ‘side’.

For people to imagine that the Islanders can have their ‘cake’ and eat it too, by having a quick cheap link without the horrors that would come with such, is delusional.

The queues and delays we see on all our road junctions now, in the Summer would become permanent, and would rapidly rise as more homes, more people arrived here. The time spent in queues DAILY, would cancel any gains of an hours wait ‘occasionally’ when waiting for the ferry, and the COST would have to be recouped so it will not be ‘cheaper’. They won’t build such for YOUR gain, only theirs.

Our countryside would be ruined and the ‘type’ of people which we mostly now, only witness on our TV screens raping, stabbing, shooting, and bombing in Cites would eventually fill our peaceful Island.

You can be sure, as always those ‘wanting’ a fixed link would either live in the remotest locations avoiding the horrors they create for the rest of us all, and IF the Island became too intolerable would be gone to a quite corner of England, leaving us with their ‘failed’ yet for them, lucrative ‘experiment’

THINK see it how it will be, NOT how you are told is ‘ought to be’.

Theresa Davies
Guest
Theresa Davies

If MOST people want the fixed link then why haven’t you got your funding Carl Feeney? Clearly they don’t want to put their hands in their pockets!

none given
Guest
none given

quite correct theresa – they are really struggling to get that money for a study – £130k or thereabouts they need, however, in the absolute age that they have been trying to get the cash together, they are only up to £6.3k – not really a resounding level of support for this link is it.

out of a population of over 120,000 people on the island, they have received donations from 182 people – hardly a ringing endorsement for the pointless scheme.

Tim C
Guest
Tim C

Personally I think islanders should get a meaningful vote on the issue either way. Too many people talking for the rest of us.

none given
Guest
none given

the majority have already spoken Tim – the answer is clearly no. This is self evident by the fact that in the years that feeney has been hawking his scheme, only 182 people have put up about £6k towards the £130k required for yet another study.

hardly a resounding level of support is it.

a high percentage of the island is retirement age folk, who have either lived here all their lives or moved here to get away from the rat race of the mainland. They want the peace and quiet of the island life.

I am not retirement age, however, I can see that the retired group and the rest of the “no fixed link group” will ensure that no fixed link happens here, any time soon.

As soon as I left school I moved off the Island for years, then moved back when I felt like it and I prefer no fixed link.

wightlink and red funnel are owned by large infrastructure funds – the very same funds that are in to investing in bridges and tunnels as well, if the opportunity arises. You think they are going to trash their ferry businesses – not a chance.

Theresa Davies
Guest
Theresa Davies

Carl Feeney why don’t you answer when asked how come your no where near the money needed for this study? If people cared that much for a fixed link you would have the cash a long time ago!

Richard
Guest
Richard

People how say they don’t want a tunnel will be the first to use it. BTW if they did not dredge the Solent you would after a few decades be able to walk to Portsmouth at low tied. The Island’s status as an island is artificial.

none given
Guest
none given

Richard – that is crap also. A few million years ago,the isle of wight was a few feet away from the mainland and the solent was a river. Now it is miles away.

This is an island – a land mass surrounded by water

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